Stephen A. Smith | 76ers won’t accept lame offers for lame duck
From what’s not being offered, it looks as if Iverson is staying.
By Stephen A. Smith
The latest news surrounding Allen Iverson doesn't revolve around what the 76ers are doing as much as what they're not doing.
The Sixers are not interested in trading Iverson for virtually nothing, which is to say they're not interested in being anybody's sucker for this season or any that follows. Whether that has happened in the past is open to debate, but there is no debating how this all could affect the team's franchise player.
From the looks of things, Allen Iverson isn't going anywhere. He'll be right at the Wachovia Center for at least 41 nights this regular season - including fan appreciation night. He'll be stuck with this franchise for at least another season, unless the Clippers, Nuggets, Celtics or someone else come up with an offer that makes some sense - regardless of all the tangible clues Iverson has left, giving every indication that he has certainly moved on.
Iverson is living in Atlanta, folks. He may still have a home on the Main Line, but that's not where Iverson, his wife and children are spending their days and nights this summer. "He still has a home in Philadelphia," a source close to Iverson said yesterday afternoon. "But let's be honest: He and his family are living in Atlanta now, waiting to see how everything goes down."
The truth is, little to nothing is going down at all. That's what happens when you're stigmatized as a lame duck.
Teams officially know that Iverson isn't happy with the status quo, that he's anxious to move on. So instead of stars like Kevin Garnett, Dwyane Wade or Kobe Bryant being thrown on the trading table, leftovers are being thrown in the Sixers' direction.
Actually, they're more like crumbs.
Billy King, the Sixers' president and general manager, was in no mood to talk about Iverson yesterday, partly because he's annoyed by all the rumors, mainly because any valid offers are virtually nonexistent.
He did manage to say, however: "If there's a deal out there that will make this team better, we'll do it. If it's not something that'll make us better, it's not going to happen."
King went on to support his point by echoing what Iverson told reporters about a week ago when he said, "I won't have a problem if the Sixers trade me and they get better. But if they trade me and this team doesn't get better, I'll have a real problem with that."
In King's world, that makes everything better, makes it easier to call Iverson's agent, Leon Rose, and say, "See, he doesn't really want to go anywhere unless it's a really good situation."
The rest of Philadelphia? Don't even get me started.
There are only two conditions under which you trade a four-time NBA scoring champion like Iverson:
To acquire another superstar.
To pick up a couple of players with star potential.
If King didn't know that before, he knows it now, which is why several league sources say he didn't bite on the garbage he was being offered.
After Boston's Danny Ainge ruined King's chances of acquiring Villanova's Randy Foye, the Celtics' Gerald Green and Utah's Carlos Boozer on draft night, King quickly snuffed Ainge's idea of sending Green and Wally Sczcerbiak - a better-paid, glorified version of Kyle Korver - to Philadelphia in exchange for Iverson.
Denver has called around to several teams, offering Marcus Camby and Andre Miller to anyone listening, including the Sixers. The Nuggets also would throw a block party if King exchanged Chris Webber for Kenyon Martin's remaining $65 million salary and questionable knees.
King won't even waste energy trying to hide the fact that he'd send Iverson to the Los Angeles Clippers in a heartbeat for Corey Maggette and young phenom Shaun Livingston. But King may not know that mutiny would take place at the Staples Center and some of L.A.'s officials would contemplate quitting if coach Mike Dunleavy and GM Elgin Baylor elected to jeopardize the team's ascension in favor of star appeal.
Plus, King has another option working in his favor: keeping Iverson, and watching his ire transform into another MVP-caliber season.
That's what happened in 2000 after Matt Geiger's refusal to waive his 15 percent trade kicker was the only thing that prevented Iverson from wearing a Detroit Pistons uniform. It's also what happened when Paul Pierce averaged 26.8 points last season for Boston, immediately after a bunch of trade rumors sending him everywhere from the Clippers to Denver.
Stars get angry. They get frustrated. Then they start taking it out on opponents.
Meanwhile, smart organizations continue to move forward and build. In the Sixers' case, they could eventually end up with $13 million to $14 million in salary-cap room in the next two years if they don't make a move.
All they have to do is hope Iverson's frustration won't escalate to the point of turmoil and chaos beyond repair.
Stephen A. Smith |
So ainge ruined our chances at getting Foye? Hmmm interesting take on the issue.
I am not a fan of AI, but still I am beginning to feel sorry for him.
Imagine this.... all this talk about him getting traded... and than nothing happens... he stays put in Philly...
Do you think his game mentality would change?
I don't think he's a quitter, but the article suggests that he wants out. A Vincing may be in Philly's future, but honestly, if he did that to Philly, I wouldn't want him, because you never know when P may get injured (knock on wood) and then AI finds him in a similar situation to the one he just left.
Green gonna be good. He very well might be, not knockin that. But for you to say it requires some chuckles. I want no parts of Wally tho.
I think a deal will happen with AI. SAS always writes those convincing articles that has you thinkin something will happen, something wont happen. He has that bottomline, period, cuz SAS said so feel. But this time I dont buy it. The homie AI is as good as gone. Billy King and AI had a private meeting and speculation is AI has no problems being the issue of rumors nor closed to being dealt. Mutual respect. And King said dramatic changes would happen this offseason changing the look of the team. For that to be true AI, Webber, Dalembert, Iggy would be dealt. One or a combination. Iggy seems to be here. Havent heard Webber rumors. Sammy i heard a lil snippet and AI? Seems to be the main source.
If Ainge had taken Foye and included Foye, that deal may have happened.
It couldn't have happenned because of the pre-draft arranged trade with Portland that was made once Danny learned that Minnie had their sites set on Foye. When McHale learned that Danny had the deal in place with the Blazers he was then able to take Roy, who the Blazers wanted, and thus force them to draft Foye while at the same time giving them more in a deal. Complex, sneaky garbage.
Of all the players we lost over the years. theo is the one I regretted the most.
I havent had a good look at him in years, so I dont know if he can still do all the things he could when he was here before. If we could keep AI or bring in a potential star along with Theo, I wouldnt mind him coming back.